Sunday, February 11, 2007

Govt will initiate action against RCCC officials: PM

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala Sunday asserted that the government would take the action against the officials of the dissolved Royal Commission on Corruption Control (RCCC) formed during the erstwhile royal government. The PM made the remark today after receiving the proposal of the high-level probe commission set up to investigate the excesses committed by the Royal Commission. According to probe member Ram Prasad Gaudel, the PM today expressed his commitment towards meting out action against those found guilty as per the recommendation of the report following a thorough study of the proposal by the government. The government had set up a five-member committee under the coordination of former justice Madhav Ojha on October last year to investigate the activities undertaken by the then Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC) formed by the erstwhile royal government and to present a report of the findings. The probe committee submitted its report after some three months of its establishment. The Supreme Court had scrapped the RCCC within months of its establishment stating that it was formed "unconstitutionally". King Gyanendra constituted the RCCC on February 16, 2005 under an emergency provision of the Constitution and later on gave continuity to the "anti-graft body" through a royal decree under Article 127 when he withdrew the three-month long emergency on April 29, 2003. The all-powerful body was given a role of both judge and jury, which legal experts claim is against the basic tenets and principle of natural justice. The RCCC, since its inception, was marred by controversy as its constitutionality was questioned at the national and international levels. As it targeted some opposition leaders, including former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, former minister Prakash Man Singh and bureaucrats, it was seen as a means to settle scores. Deuba and Singh were jailed as per a "verdict" of the RCCC.

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